The idea of microrelief efforts aimed at knitting together needy communities with counterparts outside of the recovery area is advancing pretty quickly. In the post immediately above this is a list of every Presbyterian Church (USA) in the affected region –a mammoth undertaking accomplished by a truly amazing man, Ed Brenegar, who saw the need and just got it done. I am hoping that now the thousands of PCUSA congrgations around the country will pick one of these churches and start the process of establishing a long term recovery partnership as MarkDRoberts’ church has done with Canal Street Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. Even if some of these churches have not suffered physical damage, it is almost certain that they are bearing new and heavy burdens and need help from their fellow PCUSA members. There simply isn’t any need to wait for instructions from Louisville. I hope pastors and elders simply pick a partner and send word that help in the form of prayer, money, and when appropriate, volunteers of all sort are on the way. Immediate contact might also help fill the housing needs or special needs of many of these churches whose flock is in whole or part homeless. I will continually update the list to note which congregations around the country have adopted which church in the recovery region, and I have asked Ed to think through the protocols that might apply, though in the near term, picking upthe phone or sending an e-mail or somehow tracking down a contact makes the most sense. If a pastor/elder/deacon or friend of an impacted church in the region sees this post, please feel free to send me word of whether and how urgently you need partner PCUSA congregations, and I’ll post the request here.
This is one small example of how I hope the new portal NZ Bear is working on will match need and ability to provide. Here’s another.
NZ has asked for some technical help in putting this portal together. (Scroll down.) In the comments section to that request was this comment and link:
Hello everyone. I put up a rudimentary site called “Martial Artists Affected by Hurricane Katrina” that was inspired by Hugh Hewitt’s article, NZBear’s interview with him, and that one site “Openings for Students Affected By Hurricane Katrina”. Obviously, its focus is much more long-term as many people right now don’t even know the full extent of damage to their homes, workplaces and lives, let alone their martial arts community.
It is for informational purposes only, being a list of martial arts schools harmed by Katrina and those martial arts schools that wish to help. There is also a list for those schools wanting to offer temporary “instruction refuge” for displaced martial artists.
Thank you and best of luck to everyone on the relief efforts.
Posted by: John Oberle on September 3, 2005 11:16 AM
That is microrelief of the sort that the bigs will never be able to supply, but which the web has already made possible, and which the new portal may accelerate.
Second and third example: HedgeHogBlog is already helping keep track of the response of the country’s major law firms.
Now, because of some unique circumstances, HedgeHog was able to match another need with resources. Dr. Greg Henderson is an academic pathologist who found himself in New Orleans on vacation and responded by setting up a clinic and basically going into ER medicine. Help began flowing to him via a number of sources, and the next update will detail how, I hope. The power of matching need and ability to respond.
This matching is no doubt being replicated over and over again. A friend of mine in Southern California, Todd Sousa, who owns a string of swim schools, found himself with an offer of trucks and a large quantity of bottled water. So he’s going to ask for some other appropriate stuff, find a shelter in the area that is need, and head out asap.
The point is that when the need is literally infinite, every help matters, even though sophistication in delivery is crucial so as to avoid bottlenecks etc.
While we get the protal designed, I am going to concentrate on the Presbyterians. If you are among them, please flag your pastor at church tonight or tomorrow and ask him or her or a member of the session to pcik a partner church and get moving.